Google’s Chrome browser is, unfortunately, infamous for sucking up system resources and, on laptops, killing the battery pretty quickly. Google, however, is working on changing that reputation. A new feature in development will reportedly deliver considerable improvements to Google Chrome’s battery usage.
In that test above, Google had a single blank tab open in the foreground with 36 tabs open in the background. In another test, results seen below, Google was playing a YouTube video in fullscreen with a handful of background tabs behind it. The results there were less impressive, but still added a fair bit of runtime to the device. Both energy saver and auto-brightness settings were also turned off to eliminate variables in the process.
It’s important to take this with a grain of salt on the numbers, though — we’re not totally sure of the track record at play here. Still, if true this could mean big things for Google Chrome on laptops. Right now, Microsoft Edge and Safari both have legitimate battery savings that make it worthwhile to switch from Chrome on your mobile machine. This tweak, though, could change that conversation for a lot of people.
Apparently, Chrome Enterprise users would be able to opt-out of this feature once it becomes the default behavior, but that would only last one year.
In the meantime, the flag that powers this feature is already live in Google Chrome v86 which has rolled out to the Canary track.
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